HONOLULU (AP) - The Michigan parents of a man shot and killed by Hawaii police in June filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday, saying officers didn’t announce themselves and didn’t need to shoot him 13 times.
At the time, police said Daniel Buckingham, 31, originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, cut an officer with a large knife when officers responded to an alarm at a Big Island home that was supposed to be empty.
Buckingham was hiding in a bedroom and swung a knife at an officer, hitting him in the forearm, police said. Two of the other responding officers fired their guns, killing Buckingham.
There were three seconds between the officers breaking down the door and firing, said James Bickerton, a Honolulu attorney representing Buckingham’s parents, Mary and Martin Buckingham.
"So who is lunging at who, is very hard to accept the police version that he lunged at them," Bickerton said. "They’re outside the room coming in with guns drawn. And he doesn’t know who they are because they haven’t said who’s coming in."
Hawaii County doesn’t comment on ongoing litigation, said spokesperson Cyrus Johnasen.
Buckingham’s mother said her son was very peaceful and would avoid conflict.
The Buckinghams said police have "stonewalled" providing information to them.
"We want to shine a light on the truth and find out what really happened, even if it’s hard for us to hear," Mary Buckingham said.